John's Reviews > Channel Catfish Fever: An In-Fisherman Handbook of Strategies

Channel Catfish Fever by Doug Stange
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's review
Feb 22, 2008

really liked it
bookshelves: fitness
Read in June, 2006

I tell you, I think I may read every book in the In-fisherman line of instructional books. The combination of sloppy editing and formatting (this particular edition has blank facing pages for the first 50 or so pages), cool pictures of ugly fish and men, solid if 20 years outdated fishing advice, and blatant nostalgia have me hooked! (So to speak.)

This volume is dedicated to perhaps the ugliest fish of all, the catfish. Not only are they ugly, but their feeding habits are perhaps the most disgusting of any freshwater fish. They don't just eat dead matter, they prefer it. The most popular baits for this fish are dead fish that's been allowed to rot at least 2 weeks (the book includes the procedure for properly "ripening" this bait), worms, dough bait (don't ask what's in it, just wash your hands 12 times after using it), chicken livers, and coagulated blood. Catfish are perhaps, in my opinion, the most delicious freshwater fish around, but I try not to think about their own diet while eating them.

Catfish season is just getting started around now so I'm about to put this book to use, but a just as compelling reason for my reading it is the presence of two of my childhood heroes, Toad Smith and Old Zacker. Obviously brought in for "color commentary" around the drier and more scientific writing of Doug Stange, Steve Quinn and the other In-Fisherman editors without cool nicknames, these two old codgers were the kind of men I wanted to become when I was a kid (especially if they moonlighted as professional wrestlers). Toad Smith is catfishing's resident yeti, and Old Zacker is the resident Grumpy Old Man. Toad looks like he could be less than 3 generations removed from the first catfish to walk on dry land, and Old Zacker spends more time complaining about river damming and these new pansy-ass state regulations on trotlining and snagging than giving actual fishing advice. And they are what kept me reading the book.
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Comments (showing 1-2 of 2) (2 new)

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message 1: by Jennifer (new)

Jennifer Jeremy has the walleye version of this.

John It's a really good series. I have the smallmouth bass one in my "To Read" pile for this summer.

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